Games you love at first, but then come to loathe in the last act


#143

I actually agree with this.

I went into the game mostly blind, just knowing that it had a big “gotcha” moment. So when that moment happens, I thought it was SUPER cool, and I was riding this narrative-videogame high, which quickly faded once I realized I had to do some more faffing about before actually getting to the end.

I hated that last section of the game because I felt like the game had already run its course. In my mind, the game is improved if you go directly from Ryan’s office to the final boss.


#144

I, too, would have been happy with that.


#145

I guess in my head over the years, that real ending has faded. In my mind, the game ended the way Tom Francis later imagined the ending to Bioshock:

http://www.pentadact.com/2009-04-15-ending-bioshock/


#146

I guess I should clarify I didn’t loathe the game or the reveal, it was the petered out ending. Bioshock wasn’t alone in doing that, a lot of other games and movies continue on past the point of the plot and draw things out.

Rock8, I’ve not see that imagined ending. I think that would have worked.


#147

I actually think the “happy” ending is kinda nice for a video game. I don’t think I have played another game in which my good deeds in the game result in such a good, personal ending.

As for the Ryan reveal, do you mean the Atlas reveal? Okay, I see what you mean about Ryan but that actually fit the game.


#148

Fallout 4 totally fell apart at the end for me, but I think it’s actually more because of the middle that the ending was so bad. I think if I played it after the Sim Settlements mod came out I might have been happier with going the Minuteman route. I had no personal interest in building settlements myself so liberating the wasteland seemed totally pointless. If the settlements had built themselves up I think I would have felt like there was a point to liberation which was the route I was focused on. The quest that makes you pick between the Institute and Minutemen is one of the dumbest Fallout branching points (which is saying something). They just no some random guy can fix a nuclear reactor because their scanner says he’s really smart? WTF.

I had blocked Panzerkleins from my memory. So horrible. One of those things that my brother and I tried to rationalize to ourselves for a bit because we loved the game so much. But nope, total bullshit.


#149

Yep, or I guess the true reveal of what was going on. A powerful game moment for sure unless it was spoiled to you prior to that point.


#150

I thought BG2: Throne of Bhaal ended strong, with a worthy boss fight and a succession of ‘end credit’ bits that played off on the emotional attachment you’d felt with your party members up to that point.

Beyond that? Ultima V had a tough-ass final dungeon and a great ending ‘cutscene.’

Elder Scrollses’ main quests usually are letdowns, but they’re not really the point so I never hold it much against them.

Questron’s finale was awesome for its time. Heck, for all time!

I’m sure there are more. But yeah, RPGs are often a ‘journey, not destination’ proposition for me, which is maybe why I never even finished some of my all-time faves (Vampire: Bloodlines, Magic Candle, Phantasie, Legacy of the Ancients…).


#151

My brother got me Eclipse for Christmas a year ago. While my toddler was running around, it took us a couple of hours just to figure out how to set up the board. At that point, we realized we were never going to get through a game that day. We haven’t opened it up since.


#152

Yeah, I love RPGs that buck the trend of the whole “build up your party to kill the foozle” that’s been the standard RPG trope since, well I guess as long as there have been RPGs. Magic Candle and Ultima IV are definitely standouts, but from so long ago! Occasionally you come across the surprise ending, like the option in the ARPG Bard’s Tale (not the old dungeon crawler series) that lets you opt out of the final boss battle and tell the two demigods manipulating you to go to hell. I wish there was more stuff like that.


#153

Fallout 2 had a disappointing finale, but the original Fallout’s ending was great.

Fallout 3 started off with a poor ending, but they fixed it in a patch, and by the time I got to it, I thought it was a nice ending.

Icewind Dale’s ending was predicted by me to my friends, but it was still a good ending, given that there was only one character, the idea that this one character would betray you was predictable to me, but I still liked it.

I can’t think of too many RPGs that I’ve actually finished, come to think of it. Oblivion I finished, and that ending was pretty weak. Never finished Morrowind or Skyrim. The original KOTOR had an excellent ending, I thought. Mass Effect had one of the best endings of all time. As did Fable 2. Mass Effect 2 had a predictable but decent ending. Final Fantasy X’s original ending was excellent ending. Final Fantasy X International tacked on another ending that was pretty bad.


#154

But I still really wish the boss battle with Saren could have been avoided if you had convinced him to shoot himself. Doing that and then getting the fight anyway seemed lame.


#155

I thought Arcanum ended rather well–and you had the ability to talk the big bad out of his plan.


#156

I think the issue is that if you have a power curve, you naturally want the climax to test the party’s place on that curve. You also want it to test the player’s expertise at the systems the game has been teaching them all along.

Well, if the crunchy core of a game and the basis of its power curve is combat, it stands to reason that the climax will involve combat too. Even Garriott hedged here with Ultima IV: the game had wall-to-wall combat and you had to slug your way through a big dungeon before getting to the hoity-toity “What is the axiom of ultimate wisdom” question-and-answer stuff.

To me one of the great unsolved problems of RPGs is to make gameplay systems that are as crunchy as combat but are… not combat. If, for example, persuading people could be as interesting a minigame as a tactical battle, you could potentially build an entire RPG around that, or at least demote combat to a secondary or coequal status. But little pre-written dialogue trees aren’t gonna get it done, nor is that funny “how much does this NPC like me?” gimmick in Oblivion.


#157

No I get why RPGs work that way, and I recognize I’m an outlier in looking for other options, but it can totally be done and done well. You mentioned The Magic Candle, I still remember that game’s quest to contain the demon in the Candle, whose release would end the game - no boss fight, the world would end. But the act of seeking out clues, finding components and magic words and then at the end putting the whole ritual together to recreate the Candle - it was so freakin’ satisfying, in a way a simple boss fight just wouldn’t have been. I wish we saw more of that.

One more thing, one of my dream games that I’ve discussed in other threads, would basically be Star Trek, but more like the shows and movies. Like with actual diplomacy and discussion and way less combat. I just don’t know how to make that as interesting as a gameplay mechanic.


#158

One thing about the 80s is that CRPGs hadn’t yet fully separated themselves out from adventure games, so I feel there was more emphasis placed on puzzles.

Now, I typically hate puzzles in the Lucasarts-adventure mold, but some of the early CRPGs had a nice mix, and it was less about “abstruse logic problem” and more about seeking out hidden information and locations, etc. If you go into Ultima III clean without any hints, for example, it’s amazing how many little sub-tasks Garriott crammed into that tiny world just by tucking away NPCs who would give you driblets of information about where to go, how to find the Lost City of Dawn, or the continent of Ambrosia, or what to do with the Marks, etc.


#159

One of the toughest boss fights ever in my estimation. I have played through the BG games many times and I always have a hell of a time with Mellisandre and all the shit she throws at you.

There probably should be something about “Spoilers Being Present” at the start of this thread. I know I have had to zip past the Fallout 4 posts because I am currently playing that. :)


#160

I liked the fact that during that battle I was summoning things that would have easily wiped my party in BG1. No series quite drove home the full power curve (“from lowly orphan to demigod”) as BG did.


#161

Any game that has a boss ending near the end, that didn’t really have boss fights through the game.

I loved the two rebooted Tomb Raider games, but each of them had some boss fight near the end that just seemed to check off a “yep, has a stupid boss fight” box.

It’s what I loved about err… Uncharted 3? The story just kept going and finished without any of that stupidity.


#162

It made this crabby bastard tear up a little.